Chelsea are in ‘SERIOUS danger’ after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the Government, says club legend Pat Nevin… but believes the Blues will ‘survive’ despite uncertain future
- Chelsea icon Pat Nevin is concerned about the club’s future after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the Government
- Nevin said no one can think the club are not in ‘serious danger’ after the news
- He admits ‘everything is not ok’ but he feels Chelsea will still survive
The club have been sent into turmoil after the Russian was sanctioned due to his ties to president Vladimir Putin amid his decision to invade Ukraine last month.
Chelsea can no longer sell match day tickets or merchandise during the sanctions, while their away day spending has also been capped and shirt sponsor Three have also asked to suspend their deal amid the ongoing chaos.
The grave situation has left Chelsea fans fearing for their future – with the club unable to agree new contracts or signings and their search for a new owner sidelined for now – and Nevin says the predicament is a concerning one.
‘Once you start digging down into what this could do – yes they can play their games but will they even be able?’ he told the BBC’s World Football podcast.
‘It’s not hyperbole to say the future of the club is in serious danger.
Chelsea are in ‘serious danger’ after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned, says Pat Nevin
The club legend admits no one can get away from the fact that Chelsea face an uncertain spell
‘You are in different circumstances now. Sanctions can mean a few things and be updated by the government of the day. People who tell you they know exactly what will happen, don’t believe them, because they don’t know.’
Chelsea managed to focus on matters on the pitch on Thursday night as they beat Norwich 3-1 at Carrow road to solidify their place in the top three – with coach Thomas Tuchel insisting he is still happy at the club despite the uncertainty.
Nevin – who spent five years at Chelsea between 1983 and 1988, making 193 appearances, admits he can’t give fans assurance about the situation but is confident the Blues are not heading towards liquidation, and believes they will evitably ‘survive’.
‘I can’t say “everything will be ok”. There is a valuable asset there long term. It would be stupid for the government to drive it into administration or liquidation. That doesn’t make any sense.
Abramovich is scrambling to find a new owner but talks have been sidelined after he had his assets frozen
‘I’ve listened to Chelsea fans online. It’s ranged from people railing saying it’s the end of their world to, ‘hey wasn’t it a great ride’.
‘I think the club will survive. Will it look the same after all this is over, no I don’t think that will be the case.
‘The usual caveat – it’s only football and what is happening in Ukraine is more important.
‘But the football side, what will happen to the club now? No one knows. I can tell you something, it’s very serious.
‘I heard someone say recently the wage bill is £28m a week. Where will you get that if you can’t trade? If this carries on for a period of time, it’s strange looking to see how the club is viable in its current form.
‘It’s minute-to-minute and I can promise you now, that club doesn’t know what is going to happen today, tomorrow or in a couple of days time.’
Chelsea were left unable to sell match tickets and were also forced to close the club shop, but existing staff and players will continue to be paid
Nevin also revealed that some members of the club’s staff had already been ‘partially laid off’ in the wake of Thursday’s financial sanctions.
The former Blues star, who still writes for the club’s website, also warned that Chelsea’s future remains ‘in serious danger’ and called on Abramovich to sell to the ‘right people’.
It comes after Sportsmail revealed fears that Chelsea may not finish the season after the Government’s bombshell sanctions – with another sponsor in Nike threatening to pull out of their £900m deal.
Three UK’s decision to suspend its sponsorship deal with Chelsea sets up a possible wave of corporate boycotts that could see the club deprived of tens of millions of pounds worth of revenue and facing financial meltdown.
Analysts say other sponsors are likely to follow Three in the hope of avoiding ‘guilt by association’ with Abramovich, who officials say owes at least part of his £9.4billion fortune to his friendship with Putin.
What Chelsea now can and can’t do following sanctions on Abramovich
- Play all their matches, home and away;
- Pay the salaries of players and staff;
- Provide stewards, security and food and drink for fans;
- Receive TV broadcasting revenues;
- Club sale could potentially still go ahead, as long as Abramovich does not benefit financially.
- Sell tickets to home or away fans – only existing ticket holders will be allowed to attend;
- Agree any new transfers or contracts;
- Sell merchandise at the stadium or online;
- Spend more than £20,000 on away travel.